Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nicola Verlato

Nicola Verlato


Chris Rywalt said...

I was absolutely blown away by Verlato's works when I saw them at Stux. I never got around to writing a review up, which is a damned shame, because these were some incredible paintings. I swear, I just about came in my pants when I first saw them.

Jacques de Beaufort said...

that was pretty much my reaction when I found them online.

I had entered "JMW Turner" + "destruction" into the search engine and one of these was on the 4th page of results.

the colors are really gross but I can forgive him for that because they kick ass in so many other ways.

what's this dudes story?

Chris Rywalt said...

You've only seen these online? That's a damned shame. Each painting is HUGE, like six feet by six feet. They overwhelm you. The colors are fantastic -- powerful and stunning -- and the muscular figurework is just incredible. They're really breathtaking.

As for what the guy's story is, I don't know. The model he uses in this series is the same throughout. He apparently made her pose for long periods while he worked out the compositions. Clearly the guy's a workhorse: These are not quick, alla prima sketches. These are full-on Old Master-style paintings.

The paintings are related to the Wizard of Oz. That bit I didn't quite get entirely. There's Dorothy and Toto and in one painting, Yoda. There's tornadoes and houses and dirt. And other details. Clearly there's some version of the Oz tale in there, but I couldn't figure out why or what it was supposed to mean, other than an excuse for Verlato to get naked chicks flying through the air.

Jacques de Beaufort said...

Some of the content seems a little cheezy...I'm not into the whole pop-surrealist ethos at all..although people often dismissively lump my work into the "fantasy" category. Nevertheless they are brilliant paintings.

I think it's interesting that one would need an "excuse" for erotic subject matter. This is something I'm thinking of right now because my current work deals with beauty..which seems to be an "improper" subject unless it is laced with irony, shame, pessimism, bad craft, or some other self-defeating sabotage. Or if it's homo-erotic..then that's ok.

Artworld values are constantly shifting but there is a discerneable drift towards "badness". Which is to say that "techne" as originally concieved by the ancient Greeks is now viewed as a pedestrian attribute. I wonder if this is just a false monster that I have created or if other people would like to chime in with their own take on "taste" as it exists in relationship to "skills".

Chris Rywalt said...

All you need to know about men painting naked women you can glean from the beating I took over at Edna's blog. Basically, all Real Art these days is dessicated, humidly weird, or ironic -- if you talk to the people oozing out of art school.

As far as techne goes, I think what happened was people realized that just techne was not enough to make great art, and from that they concluded that it is unnecessary to great art. I think this is wrongheaded; I think it's possible to create great art without craft, but craft helps a lot.

Jacques de Beaufort said...

oh mann...
that was a heavy link....

I'm not worried about hardcore radical femminists...they will despise you whatever you do just for being you. They are generally hateful people and deeply angry.

I'm really tired of irony and dessication and all that. It's a big disappointment that Art has become such an awful uninspiring joke to so many people.

But everyone is different...so hooray.

I just don't wan't to be friends with them.

Chris Rywalt said...

I would say Verlato's paintings fall into the "humidly weird" category, but I don't always mind that. And, yeah, they're kind of pop-surrealism, too. But they're so powerfully painted and so enveloping. They work, and that's the important thing.

But I agree: I'm tired of art which isn't sincere and emotional. I'm aiming for a kind of art mixing Romanticism and Modernism, neither of which are very fashionable right now. It complicates things: It's hard to tell if my paintings are working but unfashionable or merely not very good. Time may tell.